Tuesday, August 29, 2006

6 Years Of Republican Economics Still Leave 37 Million Americans Living In Poverty

During the 2000 election cycle, Republican candidate George Bush claimed that he was some sort of a "compassionate conservative". Many voters took this to mean that he would not forget the obligation of America to it's poor. Afterall the U.S. gives out billions in foreign aid to many of the 191 nations of the world, so it would only seem just and moral to look after the obligation to seek a better life for the poor in America. But like most election year rhetoric, the term "compassionate concervative" seems to mean very little. Nothing much has improved the lives of the poor of the U.S in the six years under Bush and his Republican congress.

Republican economics still subscribes to the failed Reagan-era claims that "trickle down economics" will eventually benefit the poor. But the huge tax breaks to big corporations and the wealthy generally have only benefited an exodus of American industry to China, India, Vietnam or other low wage areas that have only improved the profits of the wealthy and have had little real economic benefit here. Other than the consumer sometimes saving a little money sometimes on cheaply produced consumer goods, this sort of economics has only blown open a huge trade deficit for the most part. Rather than more money circulating in the American economy that will eventually benefit the poor of America, more and more cash just flows out of the country and allows some economic improvement in nations such as China, but also benefits their military buildup as well and could potentially threaten future world peace in that regard.

Despite the "welfare reform" bill that President Clinton had signed during his administration the poverty rate did hit a lower 11.3%. But today this rate now stands at 12.6%, which is statisticly insignificant compared to the 12.7& recorded a year ago. The number of Americans wthout health insurance has also increased to 46.6 million from the year ago level of 45.3 million. And many very poor citizens who came to the U.S. as illegal immigrants are not included in these statistics, and work for very low wages in jobs with no benefits or retirement plans, and live in crowded apartments or homes and often sleep on the floor with little or no bedding materials. These working poor often need to seek help from food banks to find enough to eat, yet often work in food processing or agriculture related industry preparing food for other Americans.

There are too many bad trends here to ignore, such as an increasing number of jobs lost to labor cheap nations so that the wealthy can profit more, more Americans without health insurance, and no real improvement in the U.S. poverty rate during the 6 years of Republican rule. The Republicans had 6 years to make America more fair and work to lower poverty and increase the standard of living of more Americans in order to make them consumers. Instead a few persons at the top of the system consume a great deal of goods, and the working classes only go into debt with credit card offers in order to afford the items that they desire.

Little real good or progress has taken place in improving the lives of millions of Americans in the last 6 years, and in fact many wages are actually falling while hyperinflation of gasoline and other prices only continues. A gallon of gas has virtually doubled from the $1.59 in 2003 right before the elective Iraq War of Bush's to about $3.00 today. Rent and home prices only continue to rise, and many Americans are borrowing money on their homes in order to pay bills. All of this is hardly progress.


Post a Comment

<< Home